Samsung Galaxy Note 10 preview: Specs, price, release date, and more
By now, everyone who spends a little time on the internet and is interested in smartphones knows there’s a new Galaxy Note flagship from Samsung coming out at some point later this year. The Galaxy Note 10 will be the tenth Galaxy Note flagship in name but will actually be the ninth device in the series, as Samsung skipped the Galaxy Note 6 naming and skipped directly to the Galaxy Note 7. However, that doesn’t mean the Galaxy Note 10 won’t bring considerable spec and feature upgrades over the Galaxy Note 9.
But what specs and features can we expect to see on the Galaxy Note 10? A lot has been rumored and a lot has been leaked in the previous few months, and we’ll try to make sense of it all and try to differentiate between what’s possible and what sounds implausible in this post. We’ll keep updating the information on this page as we approach the Galaxy Note 10’s launch, so don’t forget to bookmark it in your browser.
23/7/2019: Master leakster evleaks has hinted at the possibility of the smaller Note 10 not having a microSD slot, while also saying it will have 45W charging like the Note 10+. He also claims there’s a Snapdragon 855+ under the hood of Samsung’s upcoming flagship, challenging a recent report that said Samsung will use the regular Snapdragon 855.
22/7/2019: A new report about the Note 10 and Note 10+ claims the two devices will have 3,500 mAh and 4,300 mAh batteries. The front camera is said to have a dedicated Night mode, and the S Pen will reportedly have air gestures for actions such as flipping through images in the gallery.
17/7/2019: It looks like 45W charging for the Galaxy Note 10+ has been confirmed, although customers will be required to buy the 45W charger separately. The device itself will come with a 25W charger. The regular Note 10 isn’t expected to have support for 45W charging.
17/7/2019: It’s been suggested that Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset won’t be available on the Galaxy Note 10 or Note 10+. Both devices will have the regular Snapdragon 855 (and the Exynos 9825 in markets where the Snapdragon variant isn’t sold).
11/7/2019: It’s confirmed: There is no headphone jack on at least the Galaxy Note 10+. The confirmation comes from actual photos of the device in its FCC certification, and we can expect the regular Note 10 to miss out on a headphone jack as well.
10/7/2019: Official press renders of the regular Galaxy Note 10 have leaked today, showing us the overall design of the phone and aspects such as the vertically laid triple-camera setup at the back and the centered front camera cutout. Also revealed is a new silver color option with a pink and blue gradient effect that looks eerily similar to some of Huawei’s smartphones. The renders show no Bixby key on the device and no heart rate sensor.
10/7/2019: Our sources have confirmed that the Galaxy Note 10 5G will come with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options.
2/7/2019: Samsung has made it official: The Galaxy Note 10 will be unveiled on August 7. The company’s teaser for the Note 10 Unpacked event confirms that the device will have a centered display cutout, instead of a cutout on the right corner of the screen as was seen on the Galaxy S10 lineup.
There’s a regular Note 10 and a Pro/Plus model
It’s been made abundantly clear that there will be two versions of the Galaxy Note 10. There’s the regular Galaxy Note 10 and a Galaxy Note 10 Pro, although the latter should be released as the Galaxy Note 10+. That makes sense considering Samsung has been using the Plus moniker for the higher-end variant of every Galaxy S flagship since the Galaxy S8, and it was all but confirmed by a leak that showed the boot screen on a Galaxy Note 10+ in real pictures.
Two models also make sense as far as pricing is concerned. With flagship phone prices climbing steadily with each passing year, having just one Note with the best spec sheet may present a problem for sales, and the best solution is to have a lower-end model. And with the Galaxy S lineup shifting to three models with the Galaxy S10, perhaps it’s the right time for Samsung to start releasing two models of Galaxy Note flagships, with both offering the S Pen stylus—no doubt the mainstay of the Note series—while having some differences on the spec sheet.
Neither model is likely to have a 3.5 mm headphone jack…
Samsung has been releasing a smartphone here and there without a 3.5 mm headphone jack, but the Galaxy Note 10 is expected to become the first mainstream Galaxy device to come without a headphone jack. Both the regular and Plus models are likely to miss out on a headphone jack if most of the leaks and rumors are to be believed. Renders of the devices themselves have shown no headphone jack, and almost all case renders lack a cutout for a jack as well. Samsung is expected to put USB Type-C versions of its AKG earphones in the Note 10 box, and a USB Type-C to 3.5mm converter should be included as well.
Removing the headphone jack could cost Samsung sales from those consumers who only saw it fit to stick to Galaxy flagships because they allowed them to use traditional wired audio gear, but it’s unclear if it will have a major impact. Wireless headphones are all the rage these days, even if they don’t match the quality of wired ones with the same price tags, and offer convenience and a tangle-free experience. And Galaxy Note 10 pre-orders will probably have the Galaxy Buds as a freebie (or be sold at a discounted price in some markets) just like the Galaxy S10 lineup.
… And the smaller Note 10 may lack a microSD slot as well
Yes, it may not be just the headphone jack that’s going to be disappear with the Galaxy Note 10. There’s been just one rumor about it, but it’s possible the smaller Galaxy Note 10 may not have microSD expansion. With 128GB of storage on the base variant of all Samsung flagships these days and the abundance of cloud services for storing important data, a microSD slot isn’t all that necessary. However, when combined with the lack of a headphone jack, the regular Galaxy Note 10 may not appeal to too many folks. But maybe that’s the point here, with Samsung hoping it will make people buy the costlier Plus model?
Curved 6.3-inch and 6.75-inch Super AMOLED screens
The regular Galaxy Note 10 is rumored to have a 6.3-inch display and the Note 10+ is expected to have a 6.75-inch display. Neither model is expected to have a flat display, so those hoping for a Galaxy S10e-like Note 10 model will be disappointed. We can expect the same excellent Super AMOLED panel on the Galaxy Note 10/Note 10+ as the Galaxy S10 trio, meaning top-of-the-line color accuracy and brightness levels. Bezels below and above the Galaxy Note 10 display should be smaller than what we see on the Galaxy S10 lineup. The top bezel in particular is expected to be considerably smaller thanks to Samsung’s Sound On Display technology, which hides the earpiece under the display.
Galaxy Note 10 design details
Galaxy Note flagships are usually slightly more squarish versions of the Galaxy S flagship that precedes them in that particular year, and that’s what is expected from the Note 10 as well judging by leaked renders. But there’s going to be a major design change on the back compared to all previous Galaxy flagships excluding the Galaxy Fold: The rear cameras are going to be aligned vertically on the left corner and not in the center.
And the opposite will happen at the front: The Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ are going to have a centered front camera cutout instead of the cameras being placed in the left or right corner. Don’t worry, both the regular and Plus modes are expected to have just one front camera, so there’s not going to be an ugly pill-shaped cutout like the S10+ on either model.
Will there be a ceramic version of the Galaxy Note 10 or Note 10+? Well, we don’t see why there wouldn’t be a ceramic back on at least the top-end Galaxy Note 10+ variant. Nothing is set in stone at the moment, especially since there haven’t been any leaks to support or deny the existence of a ceramic variant. Samsung may decide to skip ceramic if it means the price tag on the Note 10+ can be kept slightly lower, but that’s just speculation on our part.
Color options for the Galaxy Note 10 should include at least black, white, silver, pink, and red. The red version may be exclusive to some markets and possibly only available for the regular Note 10, but that’s not fully confirmed at this point. And, as usual, Samsung will no doubt bring out new color options a few weeks or months after the Note 10 duo go on sale.
Physical buttons, but no Bixby key?
There were some rumors early on that Samsung is looking at replacing the physical volume, power, and Bixby keys with touch-sensitive versions, but more recent rumors and leaks don’t support the early rumors. However, one thing they all seem to agree on is that the Bixby key is being phased out. Yes, the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are expected to have only volume and power buttons. But don’t worry, Bixby and Bixby Voice will be accessible through the power button thanks to the system Samsung put in place with Android Pie.
Triple rear cameras, possibly with triple-stage aperture
The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ should have triple rear cameras and a single front camera. The Note 10+ will, however, get a bonus sensor on the back in the form of a ToF sensor if all the leaks and rumors are to be believed. The ToF sensor is an advanced 3D depth sensor that lets you add background blur to videos and perform augmented reality shenanigans like measuring the size of real-world objects.
We call the ToF sensor a bonus as it’s far from important compared to standard cameras, and not having one should allow Samsung to reduce the price tag of the regular Note 10. What is important is a rumor that said Samsung could introduce a three-stage aperture system for the Galaxy Note 10’s primary camera. Samsung introduced a two-stage aperture with the Galaxy S9 camera, which can alternate between F1.5 and F2.4 aperture for photography in low-light and bright conditions, and the Note 10 might be able to take photos at F1.8 aperture as well.
Sadly, there aren’t enough rumors for us to be sure if there’s actually going to be a triple-stage aperture on the Galaxy Note 10. Samsung doesn’t usually bring major camera upgrades with Note flagships, barring the time the Galaxy Note 8 introduced a dual rear camera to the company’s flagship devices, so there’s a high chance any big upgrades will be reserved for the Galaxy S11.
The specs for the three main rear cameras and the selfie camera haven’t been talked about much, either. We’re not expecting them to be different from what we see on the Galaxy S10, which means there should be a 12MP primary rear camera, a 16MP 123-degree ultra-wide camera, and a 12MP telephoto camera. The front camera should be an 8-megapixel unit with Dual Pixel autofocus.
Probably no new S Pen features
Rumors and leaks have not really said anything about the S Pen. That means there might be no new features introduced to the S Pen with the Note 10. Not that that’s a bad thing. The S Pen has long been a useful tool for tasks like drawing and annotating, with high pressure sensitivity for the most precise input, and Samsung made it considerably more handy by adding Bluetooth to it with the Note 9. That allows the S Pen to be used as a remote for taking selfies and controlling various functions inside apps, and at this point it’s hard to imagine what else Samsung could do to make the S Pen better.
Galaxy Note 10 specs to include up to 12GB of RAM
The Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ have been surprisingly shy about showing up in benchmarks, but like all other Galaxy flagships, the Note 10 duo will be powered by an Exynos chip in most markets and a Snapdragon chip in others. The Snapdragon 855 is confirmed for the Snapdragon model as that’s the latest Qualcomm has to offer, but the Exynos model should get a slight upgrade. The Note 10 and Note 10+ are expected to be powered by the Exynos 9825, a 7nm version of the Exynos 9820 that powered the Galaxy S10.
The 9820 was an 8nm chip and, therefore, not as efficient as the 7nm Snapdragon 855, and that difference should be equalized thanks to the Exynos 9825. And benchmarks have shown that the Note 10 and Note 10+ will come in 8GB and 12GB RAM variants. As for storage, we can confirm 128GB, 256GB and 512GB options, and a 1TB option is likely going to be on offer as well. And Samsung will probably use the new UFS 3.0 storage on at least the Note 10+. UFS 3.0 brings notable performance improvements over UFS 2.0 storage and is already seen on the Galaxy S10 5G and the OnePlus 7, so it’s pretty much a given for the Galaxy Note 10 as well.
Up to 4,500 mAh battery capacity, faster charging
Battery capacity is probably going to be one of the deciding factors for many consumers when choosing between the Note 10 and Note 10+. As expected, it’s the larger model that’s going to have a bigger battery; in fact, the difference may be a sizable one. The Note 10’s battery capacity could be 3,400 mAh while the Note 10+ could have a 4,500 mAh battery, although the latter has only been reported in rumors till now. It’s not entirely implausible, though, as the Galaxy S10 5G has a 4,500 mAh battery as well, along with a similar screen size as the Note 10+.
There is also some confusion over how fast the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ will charge. There have been rumors about 45W fast charging support, but 25W fast charging seems more likely. 25W fast charging is still a noticeable jump in speed over 15W charging that is found on all previous Galaxy flagships (other than the S10 5G), and it should be enough for most users, especially when combined with the Note 10+’ 4,500 mAh battery’s hopefully long-lasting endurance.
LTE and 5G variants of regular Note 10 and Note 10+ in the works
5G networks are still in their infancy, but that isn’t stopping Samsung from making 5G variants of both the regular Note 10 and the Note 10+. That’s something we exclusively revealed a few months ago, although it’s hard to say how widely available the 5G models will be. Thankfully, while the Galaxy S10 5G was more feature-packed than the LTE Galaxy S10s, it doesn’t look like the Note 10’s 5G variants will have better specs than the LTE variants, so limited availability of the 5G variants shouldn’t disappoint most consumers.
Galaxy Note 10 pricing
The Galaxy Note 9 launched with a price tag of $999/€999 for the base model with 128GB of storage, and the same price was applied to the Galaxy S10+ as well. But things aren’t as clear cut when it comes to guessing what prices the Galaxy Note 10 will carry. The smaller Note 10 will probably be the one starting at $999 as its spec sheet compares with the Galaxy S10+, and the Note 10+ is likely to cost at least $100 more.
Of course, that’s just pricing for the base models. The Galaxy S10+’ 512GB model was $249/€249 higher than the 128GB base model, and we can expect a similar difference in prices for the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+’ different storage models. Yes, that means we’re looking at prices touching $1599/€1599 for the Note 10 and $1699/€1699 for the Note 10+. Dangerously close to the Galaxy Fold, but then more out-of-the-box storage has always been a costly proposition.
Galaxy Note 10 release date
The Galaxy Note 10 is rumored to be going official on August 7. If we go by the time it usually takes Samsung to put its flagship phones on sale after they have been announced, we could be looking at a release date somewhere after August 20. The Galaxy Note 9 was unveiled on August 9 and hit retail shelves on August 24, so the Galaxy Note 10 could become available for purchase from August 22. The 5G models will probably take additional time to go on sale, but they shouldn’t take as long as the Galaxy S10 5G did to follow the LTE Galaxy S10 models.